Games: The Mallards host Rapid City (tonight) and Arizona (Saturday) at 7:05 p.m. at Moline's i wireless Center.|
Radio: WFXN-AM 1230 & wfxn.net. Webcast: myqcmallards.com (pay-per-view CHL TV). Twitter updates: @SteveTappa_DA (Friday) & @Ness_DA or @DanTomlin (Saturday).
Friday special: Another College Night means $1 beers and $1 hot dogs at the concession stands.
Saturday special: Kids' Night means a bounce house and free tickets for children 12-and-under (limit six per one adult). The Fellowship of Christian Athletes' Faith Night also offers discounted tickets and concessions for area teams and youth groups. Also part of the FCA program is a pregame testimonial huddle and 50/50 drawing, with proceeds benefiting the Child Life Charities. For more information, call the Mallards at (309) 277-1364.
Storyline: The Mallards look to make up ground in the Central Hockey League's playoff race against a pair of sixth-place teams six points ahead of QC in the standings. Rapid City (23-20-5, 51 points) and Arizona (23-22-5, 51 points) are a point ahead of QC rival Bloomington (24-21-2, 50 points) for the eighth and final CHL playoff spot with just over a month of the season remaining. The Flock (20-21-5, 45 points) is a combined 3-1-2 against the pair this season, losing the only previous home game with Arizona in a 3-2 shootout on Jan. 8, but winning a shootout by the same score in Rapid City's only other visit Nov. 18.
News: The Mallards will be short-handed this weekend, with forward Anthony Perdicaro receiving a two-game suspension Thursday from the CHL. In Tuesday's 4-1 loss to Bloomington, Perdicaro was ejected after receiving an Abuse of Officials Game Misconduct penalty. Perdicaro was observed pushing an official, to break free from his grasp, in an effort to re-engage an opponent for a fight the official was trying to prevent. QC coach Terry Ruskowski said Perdicaro had his eye gouged, and there were scratches around the forward's eyes, but a penalty was not assessed to Bloomington assailant Tyler Granbois. Perdicaro also got into a verbal altercation with the officials in the hallway leading to the dressing rooms after the second period. The penalty is one-game longer than Missouri's Jesse Perrin received the previous week against QC for landing an injurious illegal blow to the head of Mallards' rookie Mike Stinziani.
Notes: Former QC front-office head Ryan Simmons is the Executive Vice President of the Arena Football League's Chicago Rush for the second time in three seasons. The United Township grad returned to the job this week after leaving the Mallards last month after refusing a demotion during a front-office shakeup. ... Saturday's game features two of the four winningest coaches in CHL history in QC's Ruskowski (395 CHL wins) and Arizona's newly-hired Scott Muscutt (432 victories). ... QC has scored a goal each in two games since last Friday's season-best 9-goal outburst, when the Mallards became the first CHL team since Nov. 2008 to score seven times in the same period.
Around the league: Ex-Mallard John Snowden just missed matching a CHL record Wednesday, scoring five goals in Fort Worth's 7-1 win at Arizona. The 31-year-old veteran scored four times in the second period to become the first CHL player to do that in two years, but fell a goal shy of a mark held by three players from the mid-1990s. ... Another former Mallard, Brad Fogal, earned CHL Goaltender of the Week honors Tuesday for Snowden's squad.
Next: QC hosts Rapid City in a quick rematch Tuesday.
-- By Steve Tappa, firstname.lastname@example.org